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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  January 13, 2014 8:30am-10:31am EST

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[laughter] i'm just so glad to be back here, and i want to just thank the clare boothe luce society and this opportunity to talk to all of you, because there's nothing more important than your generation and making sure that you're involved and that you can carry on the great leg is si of the united states of america -- legacy of the united states of america. before we get started and i've got prepared comments, i would like to ask all of you to keep in your thoughts and prayers the men and women of the military. we live in the greatest nation in the history of world, and it's because of their service and their sacrifice. as was mentioned, i served, i had the honor of serving on the veteran affairs committee, and when you tour walter reed and bethesda and brooke army medical, you understand the sacrifices that our military makes and their families right alongside of them. we must never take that for granted, we must always keep them this our prayers. just recently, this morning, three americans -- two of them military -- were killed in a plane accident in afghanistan and off the coast of virginia
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sailors were in a helicopter, there were another two or, i think, three sailors -- one's still missing. so they do, they make that sacrifice day in and day out, and their family makes it alongside of them. i'm not going to go into the introduction, i have a paragraph here, because you did such a wonderful job, thank you very much. and before i start my comments, i thought it might be helpful for me to hear from all of you as to what concerns you and what's on your mind today as we sit here, january the 10th, 2014. this is the first meeting of the conservative women network, and i just -- what is on your mind? what do you think should be the priorities for the united states of america? >> repealing obamacare. [laughter] >> anyone else? >> cutting taxes.
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>> anything else? >> standing strong on the key social issues. life, etc. >> and i'm delighted to see one of my former staffers here who now works in the pro-life movement, and christy o'brien, thank you for coming. it's so great to see you. well, and i think probably what was echoed up here in terms of the affordable care act, jobs and the economy, cutting taxes, keeping spending down, those are the things that most americans, certainly those of us who are paying attention, are concerned about. and we'll get into some of that in just a minute. you know, you come and you hear people talk, and you walk away, and you think, what did that person just say? and so before be i get into my comments, i just want to leave you with two thoughts. if you don't remember anything else about today, remember these two things. number one, be grateful that you are fortunate enough to live in the greatest nation in the history of the world, that you are an american citizen and that you live in the united states of
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america. we sometimes take that for granted, and we must never forget that. and the other really important thing i want you all to remember is that you can be or do anything that you are willing to work hard for and set your mind to. and if you are willing to pick yourself up after you have failed and you pick yourself up and you start all over again, you can do it. and i hold myself up as a perfect example. you know, i went to a catholic high school in a small town called auburn, new york, and when you met and you met with sister of st. joseph, she was the guidance counselor, and she gave you, like, three options. one of them, of course, was to go into the convent. that was number one. [laughter] and, you know, back then you became a nurse or a teacher or a homemaker. those were the choices. no one ever said to me you can run and be the first woman to sit in this seat and represent your district in congress. so it isn't easy. and i don't want to let you think it's easy. but what i do want to say to you is you can do it.
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and don't be deterred. and when people, when i -- in 2009 -- left my job and i started telling people i was interested in running for congress, my background had been in health and i was really concerned about the affordable care act, they roled their -- rolled their eyes at me. and you just, if you believe in it and you want to do it, you really need to be undeterred and don't let the media or anyone else discourage you from doing what god has given you the ability to do. and i think that's a very important component about that, is to make sure you're praying for direction in your life and knowing what it is your calling is. and we all have different talents, we all bring different talents to the table. so those two things, if you don't remember anything else about morning or this afternoon, please, keep those in mind. okay, let's get started. today i want to talk to you all about conservativism, and i kind of broke it down into three separate buckets that we'll talk about. the first thing i want to talk about are some very fundamental
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issues within conservativism and within promoting our principles of conservativism. secondly, i want to talk to you about the obstacles that we find and we encounter as we pursue our core principles. and thirdly, i want to talk to you about some opportunities that i see we need to, the republicans and the conservatives, need to really grasp onto these opportunities, because i think there are ways for us to hopefully take back the white house, take back the senate and remain in control of the house. i think that for the sake of our nation and generations to come, that really should be the goal of our party and our conservative movement. so let's start with what is pretty obvious and some basic facts. number one, 2012 was a bad year for republicans and conservatives. and really we have got to make some changes if we're going to be, move forward and be successful in promoting our
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conservative causes and beliefs. number two, there are many people in this country who believe that if we compromise, if we move to the center, if we somehow give up our core beliefs, that then we will attract more people. and we will win elections. and is i guess i'm here to tell you, well, i don't agree with that. i think that the key to getting more people involved and getting more people interested in the republican party and into the conservative movement is to stay firm and to let the american people know that we stand for something and we believe in something. and i don't want you to confuse that with perhaps thinking that means we're intractable, we won't compromise, we won't consider all these other options. and i'll get into it a little bit later, but i think we've got to learn as conservatives and republicans to look at issues not as to really i should say from a 360-degree angle. we look at the entire issue. we look at it, first and
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foremost, not whether it's a republican or democratic issue, but whether it's working or not. and what we're seeing in our nation today is that these liberal progressive ideas aren't working. and so our key is to show the american people what does work. and we'll get into that a little bit later. but i, i just want to reiterate, i to not believe that compromising -- i do not believe that compromising what is so important to us, what is really the core of, i believe, the united states of america and the way we connect, the essence of how we connect to the american people, we can't compromise that. that's not going to win us elections. the third thing i want to talk about in terms of very basic and obvious thoughts is that conservativism is hard. it's a hard message to articulate. the it's a hard, you know, when we encounter a problem, when we look at health care -- and we all identified that there was a problem with health care in this country.
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our liberal friends turned to the government for answers. they look to appropriate money and solve the problem with a bureaucracy. but conservatives don't do that. conservatives believe that the answers and the solutions to these monumental problems in this country lie with the american people. but that's a very difficult road to take, because it requires getting people involved, selling what you want to do to those people, getting, you know, getting the money from the private sector and getting people onboard so that they will espouse and understand these critical issues. and so it's really easier just to turn to the congress or to turn to the senate and say, okay, what law are we going to pass, and prime example is the affordable care act. that's how we're going to resolve, that's how we're going to resolve the health care issues in this country. and, you know, it's not working. i don't have to tell you all that. but i do want to say
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conservativism is difficult, but it's the right way for us to go and the right way for the united states of america to go. so let's talk just a few minutes about the obstacles that we face as conservatives. i think the first, and it kind of dovetails into what i just talked about, how difficult it is, and that is messaging. it's difficult to message conservative principles. we have to inspire people. that's the task of a conservative, to inspire people that this is a better way to go for the united states of america. it's a better way to go because our principles empower people. our principles lift people up. and that's far better than making them dependent on the federal government. and so, but it's not an easy, it's not an easy task to articulate and to make that message clear to the american people. and that's an obstacle we face. and until and unless we make our
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messaging clearer and we are able to inspire, a lot of americans are just going their own way, living their own lives. and a lot of people within the conservative movement, and i think that's one of the issues we've suffered is that conservatives tend to be working, raising their families, being concerned about their children and their education, and they're not paying attention to the bigger picture. i was in kentucky a week ago visiting my daughter. we were in a conservative church, and the pastor stood up, and he was saying how we need to pray for this country. yes, we do need to pray for this country. but we also must get involved. we must get like-minded people in government because i think -- and this kind of dovetails into my next obstacle we face, the media a -- the media has intimidated people from getting involved. they've intimidated people from even expressing their views. because if you pick up a aper, and i -- paper, and i can talk about my own local paper, and christy can acknowledge this, they were from the time i
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declared until as recently as last week they've been on a vendetta to just go after me. and just last week it was a whole issue that now i've been out of congress a year, and they're still going after me. the media really -- and i think the biggest problem we have with the media is it intimidates, and it makes conservatives think that they're like the only, the only one who thinks that way. and one of the things that you all can do when you leave this room and as you go forward is you can talk to people, and you can empower other women that, no, no, no, you are not alone when you want the best for your kids or you want more opportunities for your kids, or you don't want this affordable care act, you want to make sure health care stays the quality of health care that we have in this country. and so that's a problem we have with the media, and i think it does intimidate. but getting back to the messaging, because i left out a very important component, we need as republicans and conservatives to let the country
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know and the people who live in this country that we are not a party of white, rich men. and that is a huge problem in our messaging and something that we have to, we have to change that. we have to really insist and show through our conversations, through our policies that we're a party for all americans; the wealthy, the poor, the african-americans, latinos, the urban, the rural. that we, the values we hold to dear are those values that will lift everyone up. and that's a very important message that we're not getting out there. i really -- there's a stereotype that fits with the republican party, and we need to break that. and you all in this room can begin to make those changes. and that leads me to the third obstacle we face, and i can say that i've really encountered it firsthand, and that is a stereotypes. the media and primarily the media has made conservatives out
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to be crazy, right-wing radicals. when i -- and it was mentioned i just began in july as a commissioner at the consumer products safety commissioner. i cannot tell you from the time i started up until yesterday we had a coffee in our office, people come up to me and they say, oh, my gosh, we were so nervous about you. you know, i think they thought i was going to have snakes coming out of my ears. i don't know what -- because of my conservative, i was supposedly a tea party person. to this day i don't know what a tea party person is. americans who believe that the constitution is as relevant today as it was when it was written. so, but it's, that's the stereotype that conservatives find themselves in. and, again, the media plays into that. because it's what the paper did to me. if they can make you, marginalize you, if they can make you irrelevant or make you sound like what you're espousing
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is radical -- and nothing we ez powz is radical, you all know that in this room to the core of your being. we are talking about what made this country the greatest country ever. the individual responsibilities and rights coming from our almighty creator. those are, that's what we value. that's not radical at all, and we all know that. but that's a stereotype that we face as conservatives in this country. and i will say that we are guilty on the other side and we need to be very careful of this, and this kind of dovetails into my next, my next section on opportunities that we can't stereotype. we can't look at a group and say, well, they never vote republican. they're not conservative, and we write them off. what we -- and so getting into where i think that there are opportunities for a conservative movement in this country, number one, with women. i think that we need to articulate a message to women that this health care system women are intimately, they're
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mostly the health care decisions. i've got health care, i've got the health care proxy for my mother who's 92. i'm getting ready to go the texas. one of my daughters is having baby. we are intimately involved in health care. so this whole rollout may enlighten some women that the affordable care act is not a good way to go. education, women are very interested in education. so we've got to articulate a message to women that there is a place for you in this republican party, that what we care about, you care about. and we're not doing a very good job of that. ..
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that's the only thing that i can conclude. and liberal policies in general, government running more, but the hypocrisy of the women's movement, when i was defeated in 2012, the liberal group targeted women. judy biggert, myself, they defeated us. from the time i was elected in january 2011 and tell my defeat i was targeted. and you say, wait a minute, this doesn't make sense. it's going to be up to us to expose hypocrisy of women groups in this country and it's the conservatives who truly care about women, advancing their cause. and that we are far more, far more, we have far more depth
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solely in what we all here is our reproductive rights. there's so much more to women. and that whole initiative in the way they've really co-opted the women's vote is based on that. and it's going to be up to us to show women we are far more than that. we have far more depth the net and we are concerned about our kids getting jobs when they get out of college, about a strong economy. that's pandering and it's an insult to women and we should take it as such. i left my stereotypes and when into the cracks and where are the cracks and where can we infiltrate? i think women is one. i think teachers, historically teachers unions are always democratic. rather than looking to the union leaders, we need to get to the teachers. there are so many teachers, and
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we talked to a lot of them during the last campaign who are so disenchanted and so upset with core curriculum, with race to the top, with no child left behind. this movement to nationalize our education system is frustrating teachers who set out with the nation. and that mission was to educate kids. they are hamstrung and their limited as to what they can do. i see the usda just reversed their old ruling on food and what did skinny. by the teachers i think it's a very fertile ground because they are so frustrated with this federalization of education, and they believe that the education decision should be left to the state and the local government. washington, the bureaucrats here don't. but teachers are very fertile ground. we can make some headway and head roads into teachers. and i think health care workers
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are another group that we should be able to make our case to. physicians, nurses, folks in local hospitals up in our neck of the woods. they've laid off people because of the affordable care act. people who are intimately involved in health care understand that this law, among a whole myriad of problems, this law is going to really affect the quality of health care, affect the ability to access decisions in health care. and it really is not what we need in this country. so i think health care workers are another area that we should be able to get our message to. and again, that message is, it is a conservative message but it's also a message about what works. last week, this past week we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the war on poverty. thank you, lbj. $1.7 trillion has been spent on the war on poverty.
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and where are we? we are at the same percentage of americans at or below the federal poverty guidelines. so these policies don't work. don't make it a republican or democratic issue. they don't work. they've got the affordable care act, education, the war on poverty. are we saying, this is what the message gets tricky and it's challenging, we are not saying we don't care about the poor. we are saying the way to lift the people out of poverty is to give them opportunities. and all of this war on poverty and all of these handouts do not do that. they keep people down. they make them the payment on the government. and that is not a united states of america and that's not the way to go for this country. talked about my grandparents. they all came there is teenagers from italy. never spoke english. my parents were so determined that we're going to give opportunities that they didn't have, my father worked, he was an insurance salesman. we had a grocery store.
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he had a role he -- roller skating rink. to take a nickel from the government, that was a complete disgrace. he would never consider that as an option. you would go out and work harder. somewhere in between there is, especially with the economy the way it is, another thing not working. today the unemployment number came up, only 74,000 new jobs were created. this past month in this country. that's the lowest in three years. we are not on a path to economic recovery because these policies don't work. that's the approach we've got to take. we do care about people but we care about people so much that we respect their abilities. we want to give them a chance. we want to lift them up. we don't want to give them down. we don't want to keep them subservient to government. >> so in conclusion, and i think
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the time for questions, won't we? i want to encourage all of you that conservatism is nothing to be ashamed of. you should be proud of the principals and the core beliefs that you have. it is really something that we really need to embrace it and not run away from conservativism. because the conservative policy really offer more to people. they are what this country was intended to be. so we need to be proud of them, and continue to really educate and message so that we can get more americans involved. in doing so, we will not only win elections, but we will change our country for the better. we will ensure that our children and our grandchildren have access to all the opportunities that we have. that we will achieve the true american dream of ensuring that we hand off to the next
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generation a better united states of america. that has been historically really the hallmark of this country, something that is unique to the united states of america. and that is, each generation hands off a better united states of america. and right now we are not going to do that to this next generation. it's so unfair to what's being done to you, the debt of this nation is something that will be on the backs of generation after generation. it's why we need to get back to our fiscal responsibility and our roots of not spending more money than we taken as a government. the country has been doing this for three decades now. the debt and the deficit -- we're giving to the next generation is unconscionable. it is really something my generation is really responsible for and really we need to make sure that we change policies so we don't do that to the next generation.
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again, i want to say to all of you that this is not easy. it's a very steep hill that we have decline. our current leaders need to be resilient. we need them to continue to fight for the values we hold dear. it is today and they who they serve who share their principles that will lead us into a new chapter of conservativism. however, they can't do it alone. they need more great candidates. we need people from all walks of life and all backgrounds. we need people to take up the charge just like they did in the colonial days, go down to washington as a civilian, not as a career politician. and you take up your, represent your district and you stick to the conservative principles and the constitution that made this country so great. we have too many career politician. i often talk about, you know, considering term limits. we have too many people who have a politics and the office a way
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of life. it's something that really i think has led to the death of the united states of america. i want to encourage all of you, and as i mentioned earlier, a kentucky woman, pastor mentioned about praying. praying is are important for this nation. but representing and getting involved is equally as important i believe. i think we have a moral commitment, and it's not easy, but a moral commitment to get involved and to do what we can do. it starts in a little coffee group, starts in your them and it grows from there. and educate and really talking about the conservative principles that we all hold so dear. i think as far as women go, we need more women in government. women are problem solvers. women are multitaskers. women are created in their solutions to problems. we need more women to get involved.
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and so, anyway we can do that, certainly this type of a forum encourages you all. and hopefully inspires you. and i think that's something the conservative movement needs to be more of, really inspire women to get involved, and to give them the support they neede neeo that they are not fearful and they are not concerned with the backlash that they may feel from immediate or from their liberal counterparts. some races we will win at the polls, and others we will not. but every time you have a conversation with anyone, anytime you espouse a conservative value and you make the case for conservative principles, we win. we can't look at win or loss, we have to look at advancing our cause. because you know why it's not about you and it's not about me. it is about the united states of america. this nation right now, and it's why i ran in 2010 and we at 87 freshman in the whole conservative movement was so
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vocal. we are headed in the wrong direction. so many things are not working right now. foreign policy, our economic policy, our health care policy, our education policy. and unless and until we get conservatives in office, and i would strongly encourage women to get involved, we will not change that, and that's the reality of where we are in this country. i'll just finish where i began, and that is that we have a steep mountain to climb, a lot of challenges ahead of us. but by embracing our conservativism, standing up for and not running away from, sharon parr message with all americans, we will lead this great nation into a brighter, better future for our kids and for our grandkids. god bless you all. thanks to come today and may god bless the greatest nation, the united states of america. thank you so much. [applause]
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>> she does inspire, doesn't she? wonderful. i'm so glad you're here. you're fighting the fight in washington, and i do want you to be a career politician, but i hope someday that you go back there. spent believe me -- it's crossed my mind. >> good. we have a couple ladies. she comes back and helps at christmastime. gene oh, has the other mic. gene is the minister director. how many years? 13 years. this is what you want on your resume. you want to stay as long as possible. so valuable. you become so valuable in these types of jobs. so i'll let you call on people and if you wouldn't mind getting your name, wait for the mic because c-span is recording this. here's a question right here. >> thank you for a great talk.
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my name is brittany and i worked on -- senator ted cruz. especially since you really working in your district, what have you found to be the most effective way of collecting stories from people, specifically teachers and people in the medical field, where those areas are where people are hurting and they are feeling the changes, but sometimes making that inherited and getting that message out, kind of putting it in real terms could be a challenging thing. >> well, the anecdotes kind of calm, and they did come to me, people were anxious to tell their story. i did a lot of town halls, probably 60 or 65 panels during the greater time and people were anxious, either in a town hall or subsequent to let you know their story. what we did, and i would recommend this to any of you,
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and we begin to have women's groups. we started out with a group of women, six of us, and with the next event was at a restaurant and each person invited five people. and i talked about conservative values and what it stood for. the next event was the new people invited five people, it and we grew into we had a luncheon with over 300 people. that's what we have to do. people want to tell their stories. they're frustrated. as soon as you give them that opportunity where they are not intimidated and they don't feel like they are the only one who has encountered this, i can't imagine if you went out and set up a website helmet people lost their health care coverage, how many people would respond to that. so giving them the forum and kind of get assurance that they are not alone, they are not just some person has encountered this. it's a lot of people feel and think the same way they do.
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>> yes, i'm becky norton dunlop from heritage foundation. one of the things we talk about often as the core conservative idea is a concept of fusionism, where people who are economic and defense conservatives and people who are social conservatives and are concerned about education and marriage and life, actually rely upon each other for the success of what they believe. and i wonder if you identify with that, that we're all kind of in the same boat, so to speak. the fusionist boat were economic, foreign policy, defense, education, life, marriage, it all has to work in
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order for our nation to work. >> i am in the fusionist boat and i think, the reality of it is that some people think that the economy is their issue. others health care. others, the social issues. everyone has a different priority. rarely do you meet someone where everything is their priority. but making them feel like they have a place to go where there are like-minded people i think is very important. if the issue is the economy, that's an easy one. you let them come in and you give them a place where they can feel like they have support as well. you know, i think where it becomes difficult, quite honestly, is some folks just, unless you think exactly like they do, then it becomes a problem. you can i think you give people
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a comfortable place to go, a safe place to go without agreeing and without compromising your values. but it goes back to the stereotype. it goes back to really appreciating and understanding anand respecting people where they're at. oftentimes it's a question of education, enlightening them on the issues, but not judging them because they don't think exactly like you. but allow them to see where you're coming from and educate them. and not to judge them. that goes back as admission to the stereotypes where that person, they don't think like i do, they are hopeless. one of the best -- i should say one of the most unusual lines i had in congress was the local end of the aclu. they were certain issues that we really found common ground on. certainly the innocent issue has come to light since that time, but some of the privacy issues, you know, but being able to have that conversation, you don't know how you're affecting people. you don't know what siege or
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planting but if you write them off if they don't agree with you on every issue, and i just want to make sure, it's not compromising your values that you're educating them and giving them a place to go. because we agree on these three issues, let's not destroy the relationship because of that. >> use her for three years. -- you served for two years pick what advice would you give? what i couple of things that you really feel you did well? what are some things maybe you would go back into again? >> what i thought we really did well, and caitlin is in the back and christie was, we made serving our district and the people are represented our number one priority. i really believed, you know, was part of my sadness when we lost, we gave a voice to people. whether they need help with a
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project for the needed help with social security or wiki did a huge veterans outreach peace. i really believed that we were serving the people the way government was meant to be. that we were their voice in washington. we did all the town halls. the tele-town halls and all recommendations with people who lived there. i really felt like we'd give them a voice and we provide a great service to them. i think of all the things we did, that's really what i was most proud of. you make decisions when you're running. i really don't regret anything. i can look in the mirror everyday and i can say i never compromise to i was. i never change my campaign spiel once i get into office. i voted against the budget control act. there were some key votes that were with my party but i believe that was the right thing to do. what i promised i'd would do when i went to washington. so i don't have any regrets other than the fact i didn't
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win. but you say to yourself there must be another plane, another purpose. you pick up and now rolling in the cpsc which is a whole nether challenge. >> anyone else? >> as a conservative woman, it's tough to find a mentor going through my career. did you have someone that you would call a mentor? do you have any advice in that same vein? >> that's a great question. i really didn't -- my father was my mentor in that he inspired me with a work ethic, and he would just faced problems. he would stare them down and figure out a way through problems and pick himself up. so he really was my inspiration.
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mentors are difficult and maybe that's something we can talk about, about providing direction and resources to women. and there are some groups down here, certainly some of my friends are still members of the house, you know, to do that, to provide direction and support. because oftentimes, again, it's intimidating when you feel like you're in a law firm ahead of your friend is a friend -- a partner, she's been about a long time, she was a trailblazer for women, very conservative, very pro-life. you just, you wonder where she got the toughness to do that. she just did it on her own. immediate will make you feel like warm and fuzzy and your great because you're conservative. you fight against the odds. quite honestly, women in the law firm are in politics. it's a male-dominated profession. that's the reality of it. it's turning a little bit, but i
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think the more women, the more young women wh to get involved o are very clear in the purpose and want to articulate their view, and marsha blackburn, diane black, there are just women who are so competent. it becomes a non-issue. but to osha get into whether it's practicing law or i think health care is better than politics, it's a tough venue and women do need mentors to help guide them through the system. i know my own race was a little bit hostile to women. the seat was held by republicans for 20 years and there was another fellow involved who had money, and i didn't. he was the favorite and i had, i got the nomination but those are the kinds of things -- i have to tell you, i have a character flaw. as soon as someone tells me i can't do it or you won't do it, this little thing goes off in my
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and -- goes off in my head this is okay, you've got to do it. you can go to law school with six kids. i don't want to push that character flaw on you, but it's in my situation, i just kept plowing forward. mentoring and having that support i think is a wonderful goal. we should have more of it. >> i don't think it's a character flaw. i think it's a character strength. i want to thank you on behalf of everyone here and the millions of people watching on c-span. what a good talk. i feel ready to go out and fight samore. >> we need you all. we need very much to be involved. >> we have a couple of gifts for you. you know, a couple years ago i want to give our 2014 calendar. it's available on the website. i know you got one before but it's a new version of our limited version coffee mug with
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clare booth luce's famous phrase, no good deed goes unpunished. >> wonderful. >> of course, a tote bag. and i will say the heritage foundation has something for you as well so you can remember your visit here today. frank meyer was a fellow new yorker wrote this great book, in defense of freedom which is a classic. i hope you haven't gone entirely to e-books and still have a few of these on your bookshelf. we hope you enjoyed it and maybe you'll get some inspiring thoughts from that as well. >> thank you so much. >> great to have you here today. thanks for your service. >> thank you all. [applause] >> thank you all very much. >> live now to the brookings institution this morning for remarks from new york democratic
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senator kirsten gillibrand are just taking on social mobility and policy issues this morning. it include paid them and medical leave, increasing the minimum wage, universal preschool and equal pay. this is live coverage on c-spa c-span2. >> it is sunny and reasonable temperature again. i and a codirector of the center for children and families to brookings along with ron haskins. we have been invited a group of us birds -- experts around the country to join us today for the first annual summit on social mobility in the united states, organized by my colleague richard reese, and we are really delighted to have so many wonderful experts here to talk about this issue all day. but if we're going to put social mobility on the agenda in the united states and figure out
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what to do about it, we're going to need help from people in public life. and so it is just a tremendous honor to have someone with us today to begin to help us address these questions. senator gillibrand was first appointed to the senate by the governor after hillary clinton vacated her post. and then she was elected on her own in 2010, for a six-year term. she has worked on all kinds of issues. i read her bio, look at a website, and there's so many there that they couldn't begin to list them all. i think probably she's best known right now for her advocacy of ending sexual assault in the military. now, some people have referred to her as the next hillary clinton. and harry reid, very
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uncharacteristically i think of them, once referred to her as a hottest member of the democratic caucus. and i can't imagine senator reid saying that, but evidently he did. now, as the mother of two young children and one of only 20 women in the senate, she is especially focused on the needs of women and families. and she believes the women's movement has stalled out, and wants to see at least half of all senate seats than half of all governorships the women in the future. and i want to hardly endorse that goal and want to add to it one that i'm sure she would agree with, which is i would like to see a woman president of the united states before i die, and senator, maybe it will be you. so it is with great pleasure that we welcome you to brookings, and i'm sure i speak
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for all of us when i say that we are really looking forward to your remarks. [applause] >> well, thank you, bell, for your leadership and for hosting today's forum. i think this'll be a very interesting conversation. that franco the american people have a seat at the table today. i want to thank the brookings institute for bringing us all together to talk about a topic that is really vital to the future of this country. and to talk about some fresh ideas, to give more children and working families basically the opportunity they need to achieve their potentials. last week marked the 15th anniversary of president lyndon johnson's declaration -- 50 anniversary of an all-out war on poverty. ushering in a new era of commitment to security and opportunity for every single american. no matter the circumstances that they were born into, or whatever kind of hands, the same week we
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mark this milestone in american history, the senate and the house had a chance to do one simple act to live up to that promise. by extending a lifeline to 1.3 million jobless americans. 1.3 million americans who, through no fault of their own, i want to work, who need to work, and are diligently looking for work, they were denied this lifeline, this basic lifeline that keeps them afloat during tough economic times. for no reason but politics. democrats and republicans may well have honest disagreements on the best way to grow our economy and create jobs for all those americans who are ready and willing to work, but we should be able to agree on a basic core principle. we should stand by those who are struggling and never leave anyone out in the cold. but all too often it's exactly
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what happens in washington, for reasons most would find inexcusable. it's the same old political game, being played with a snap initiative, better known as footsteps which the house of representatives would like to got $40 billion over 10 years -- better known as food stamps. they would have us all believe that they're just cutting waste, cutting fraud, abuse, ending free rides on the taxpayer dime. but the reality is when you're cutting food stamps, you are just taking food off the table of families in this country. taking food out of the mouths of hungry children, taking food away from seniors who want fixed income, from veterans who gave their lives for this country and everything for this country who are in a time of need. that's actually you are taking food away from.
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-- who you are taking food away from. it makes me angry because all we hear about from the other side is that those on government assistance are somehow scamming the system, or lazy. i've never met a lazy child who is hungry, have you? i've never met one man or woman who was on unemployment benefits or who needs food stamps, who wants to be there. they don't want to be there. they would prefer to be working, providing for their children, feeding their children. i've never met a mother whose children are well fed who's on food stamps. and on top of this economic hardship, a lot of these families, it's a loss of confidence, a loss of dignity. and that's all the motivation they need to work as hard as they can to find a new job and
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to regain that stability that the family so desperately needs. that's what the 1.3 million americans are fighting for, a job, and opportunity to work. and this is -- this assistance is meant for them as their safety net. so when politicians callously attack those -- they are not attacking the nameless and faceless. they are attacking our kids, our seniors, our veterans who have given so much. i think we need to do much better. it's not who we are as americans. we are all in this together and we have to create the federal policies that reflect those core values. now, i know we will hear a lot of politicians finding compassion and over the months ahead. but when you look at their policy, they fall short of those
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words. we see policies that trade off cutting food assistance to families that needed to protect billions of dollars in profit for insurance companies that don't need those guaranteed profits. if you look at the policies, they will got a head start. there's not a parent in america does not early childhood education is the difference between their child reaching their full god-given potential and not. you will see policies that are designed to cut medicaid. what is medicaid? its access to health care for those who need it most. simply put, these are not the priorities of a nation that fulfills its moral obligation to those who need help. these are not the policies of the nation that does what we can to support americans who have fallen on hard times. children and families who are hurting and hungry need more
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than a slogan, so we should at least agree on this. let's do more than just find the right way to talk about it. let's actually look at democrats and republicans, for policies that focus on our core shared values, and protect those who are struggling to make ends meet. now, i've traveled across my state of new york, and the stories that actually have it stopped, parents are working their hardest to get by to provide for their kids, but the reality is, is that things seem to be working against them. for as far as we've come and for all those who have been lifted up since lbj took poverty head-on, the fact is income inequality today is at record levels. seniors are working longer hours for less money. and contrary to the basic american value that we reward
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work in this country, the real valley of workers' wages is on the decline. as a result, families are having a tough time. but all along the american dream hasn't changed. we still all as americans dream of getting an education, providing for our family, raising our kids, paying for college in making sure we have some money for retirement. but the rules of earning the american dream have changed. the skills and tools that all but guaranteed our parents and our grandparents a place in the middle class won't cut it today. the world has changed, and our economy has changed. and most importantly, the american family and the american workforce has changed significantly. and that's were i see the greatest potential for reviving a middle-class, and an opportunity for all those are fighting to make it there.
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the new faces of our workforce over the last four decades are now women. in fact, women are increasingly the new family breadwinner. women are the primary wage earners for growing share of homes across america. in 1960, only 11% of families had female, the mother being relied on our wages to provide for the kids. today, that's 40%. 40% of wage earners in america are mothers who are the primary wage earners to provide for their kids. 40% of the families with children under 18 rely only on the mother to pay the bills. make those tough choices at the kitchen table and see their kids. but you wouldn't know that by looking at america's workplace policies today. they are fundamentally stuck in the past. congress and state capitals across the country simply have failed to keep pace with the new
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economy, and the modern american workplace. the key to creating a growing economy and the key to an american middle-class that is built to thrive in the 21st century is women. without a doubt it's given us think if given a fair shot, women will be the ones to ignite this economy and lead america to a revival of its middle-class. that's what i want to focus on today, it's called the american opportunity agenda. it's a set of five basic principles that will modernize the american workplace is policies that empower women and families and give them the chance to earn their way and get ahead, achieve their full potential, and basically reflect the values of our nation. first, rebuilding our american middle-class relies on keeping everyone who wants to be in the workplace in the workplace or in a paycheck. this is a situation that many in this room may well have faced. for anyone who has ever had a
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new baby or a sick family member or a dying mother or father who needs care around the clock, you know what that feeling is like when you have to make a choice between providing for your family and staying in the workplace, or caring for your loved one at home. choosing between your loved one and your career is a choice that no person should ever have to make. but this is a choice that's happening every single day, and more often than not, it's the woman would choose to leave the workforce to care for that family member. when they do they will earn less income, they will miss out on raises and promotions, and they lose out on retirement benefits. this can set women behind. it risks their future success and risks the stability of their own family. it can also hurt businesses in today's lack of paid family medical leave keep some of our most highly skilled, best trained, hardest workers out of
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the workforce. democrats and republicans should be able to agree, america's strongest asset is our people. we should change our policies to reflect that and give working parents a fair shot. the family and medical leave act we have today basically provides for unpaid leave. job protected leave for serious health events. but only about half of our workforce actually qualified for unpaid leave. and many more given that opportunity can't afford to take the time off. but congress can and should do much more to support these workers and strengthen our economy by expanding paid family medical leave. under my bill called the family act we would create a self-funded paid family medical leave insurance program, and it doesn't add one time to the deficit. based on successful state
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models, it works by establishing independent trust fund supported by both the employee and the employer, contributions of a small amount in their wages. it's basically an earned benefit that would make paid leave available to every working american, no matter how great your company is that you work for, the muses or small business, with your part-time or full-time. the cost is about the cost of a cup of coffee a week. when a young parent needs to care for a newborn, it shouldn't come down to outdated policies that let her boss decide how much time she can take off, how much time it will take her to get back on her feet. with that decision perhaps affecting the fate of her entire career. would anyone of us met a woman needs time to care for an ill or dying family member, we shouldn't have to sacrifice our job and risk our future to do what we think is right. the family medical leave act first past with strong
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bipartisan support. so there's a reason why democrats and republicans can't come together and supported begin today. let me just give you one real-life example to show why this is something we should all be able to support. to those who just want to reduce the roles of those on government assistance, this is a really great way to do it. i have an employee can choose a single mom, she's working as a waitress. she was working 40 hours a week of earning $2.19 an hour plus tips. she basically was able to bring home about $700 a week, or about $24,000 a year. that's a few thousand dollars above the poverty line. when she got pregnant she had no health care benefits by her employer so she enrolled in medicaid. when she was about to have her baby she knew she could not afford the hospital bill to deliver her baby so she had to quit her job. because she was able to be on medicaid, that covered her hospital expenses, but because her employer gave her no sick days, no vacation days and no
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paid leave, she wasn't able to have her time with her infant at home so she had to quit her job. she wrote in with associate have enough money and she rolled -- and wil rolled foodstuff but ths woman was working full time 40 hours a week basically on the edge of poverty and can provide for her kid. if she had had paid family medical leave in that job, she could've stayed in her job, had the time she needed and that the benefits that would've protected her and her family. we also have to work on things as simple as raising the minimum wage. when we are talking about low-wage workers, most people don't understand, not only -- but also how hard hit by our. did you know that of all our minimum wage earners, 64% of them are women? and did you know that if you're working 40 hours a week on our minimum wage, you are earning $15,000 a year. if you're a family of three,
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that is $3000 below the poverty line. so we are saying in a country that has always said we reward work and if you work hard everyday, you will make it to the middle class, that that's not true because if you are working 40 hours a week and on minimum wage, you're basically earning $290 a week. can't imagine what would be like to live on $290 a week today here in washington, d.c. i haven't sampled for you. shiites who works at union station. she's been working as a janitor at union station for 20 years. she's never had a second day. she's never had a vacation day. she has no benefits. to work at the same job for 20 years and still be earning $8.75 an hour with no benefits, it doesn't sound right. she's about to retire but she does know how she's ice going to retire. she has been able to say very little. hard-working people, they are not looking for a handout.
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they just want to work hard everyday and be able to provide for the family and have some hope, some glimmer that they, too, could be able to achieve the american she. under the bill we're working on in the senate, it would give lucille a race. it would bring the income up to $21,000 a year. she is one step closer to getting out of poverty and move into the middle class. raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would help 33 million americans, 17 million women, many women with children just like lucille. millions of mothers immediately would be able to do more to support the families and put that money right back into the economy. raising the minimum wage it's also good for business. and increase to $10.10 would raise her gdp by up to $33 billion over the course of just three years with those increased earnings. which means increased spending on household goods, on food,
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clothing, on things families need. with added active in our economy we can create up to 140,000 new jobs. the next issue that i feel very passionate about that i think would make a big deal a difference for working moms is basically understanding the need for a affordable child care. today, more women are going back to work soon after having a child, creating a much greater demand for affordable child care that allows them to stay in the job. the cost of childcare is about $6700 each year, much more for an infant. just about the same amount an average family spends on groceries. but you can't afford a chowder as many middle-class families can't and you don't have a family option. the choice you're left with is to leave a job and stay home and care for your children. if you just think about the numbers again, let's say the
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average -- your minimum wage earner, you earn $15,000 a year. how are you going to afford childcare? kindergarten doesn't start until child is five. you have no options. there is no affordable option. imagine what you do as a single mom. again, 17 million of those are women. a lot of them are single mothers. what did you? you look for informal care. you look for your mother perhaps or a lady down the street or someone in your building but what happens if for informal caregiver is sick? you miss work. what happens if you miss work? you will probably get fired. you certainly won't be promoted. you lose out on every bit of economic potential and economic opportunity you have because there is no affordable day care option. just as important, we need universal pre-k. we should focus on the fact that when children have the chance to early childhood education, they're able to reach their
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god-given potential. high quality early learning leads to strong, cognitive, social, emotional and language developer. key skills every child in america needs. any child develop an expert will tell you this fact and so will every mother. the first five years of a child's life is a window we havd to give them those essential skills for success. but for millions of families struggling, this is a chance that they are never going to get. through no fault of their own and no other reason, that their families were born into a life of less opportunity. block that you live on should not determine the success of the life you will have. that's why we need to make these investments today to bring quality, affordable pre-k that every child in america. this will give every child a chance they deserve to start out strong and to make sure that their hard work is what takes them how far they can go. every dollar that you invest in early childhood education
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generates up to $11 economic benefit throughout the child's whole life. that's an nih statistic. it's important for our overall economy today with children have access to pre-k come means more working mothers get to stay in the workforce, provide for the children and stay on a path to advance their careers. that's good for the whole economy. critics will say that are debt and deficit, we just can't afford this. i agree that we have to do more to get our deficit under control, but every budget that we write is about choices. they are about our priorities. they are about who we fight for. and, frankly, in a global economy when they're competing with countries and markets in every corner of the world, we can't afford to lose a step. when we close our doors to early childhood education, we risk a future engineer, scientist or doctor that could make the next big breakthrough that changes the world and a dice add new economic engine.
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a strong early childhood education is one of thos of thet things we can do to propel more kids out of poverty on a sturdy path to a brighter future. so we should invest in our children. the last piece of my proposal is probably the most obvious, equal pay for equal work. the promise made 50 years ago was the equal pay act, a promise that continues to be broken every single day in this country. today, women make up more than half of america's population and nearly half of our workforce. women are out early men in college degrees come in advanced degrees, and are a growing share of the primary household on this. but still to this day men are out earning women in wages for the saxon work. on average a woman earns 77 cents on every dollar a man earns, and even less for women of color. african-american women earn 69 cents on the dollar, latinos earn 58 cents on the dollar. it has to change. how can any two income family or
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a family with a mother is the sole breadwinner get ahead if they are shortchanged of the month? if we want to have a growing economy and to secure middle class and a chance for more families to get ahead, simply pay women fairly for the work they are doing. it's really that simple. it's a huge economic engine. if you're just a 1 dollar for 1 dollar, you could raise the u.s. gdp by up to 4%. it's a huge economic engine. it's plain common sense and it's just the right thing to do. so let me conclude, 50 years into the war on poverty with the debt stacked against him in this country, let's commit ourselves with great resolve to living up to what the american dream was always meant to be. it's a dream that makes our country the land of opportunity, a dream that says it doesn't matter from where you start. hard work pays off. you can get to the american
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dream and earn your future. a dream that for too long has been out of reach for too many people. let's do what we can do to create new opportunities for those who need it most, and change the course of america's middle class. and without a doubt it will be women who will lead the way. when women lead this fight we will end poverty in america. because only when every american woman and family gets a fair shot they deserve to achieve their full potential, will america ever be able to achieve first. thank you. [applause] >> -- be able to achieve hearse. >> [inaudible conversations] >> i'm going to try to start
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here. can everybody hear me all right? okay, great. senator, thank you so much. that was quite an exhilarating challenge to all of us. and i think if i could summarize your agenda for american opportunity, it has five plants. raise the men wage, affordable child care, paid leave, universal pre-k and equal pay for equal work. and i think these are all really important issues, and i want to try to kind of relate them back to the theme of what we will be discussing here all day. you mentioned the war on poverty and the fact that we are having, celebrating an anniversary now and everyone is talking about that. and one of the academics who is here today, james from columbia university, she and our colleagues have recently done a
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study which you may or may not have seen but i found it very interesting. because it shows that although many people, special on the right have said well, in the war on poverty, poverty one. it didn't work. their study shows that the war on poverty actually reduce poverty a properly measured by something like 10 or 11 percentage point. i think i have that right, jamie. but i think it was another message coming out of that study and out of the discussions that we are having now, which is we did pretty well creating a safety net that would be there for people at the bottom who were not doing very well, but we didn't do as good a job at changing the labor market, helping people to achieve middle-class status through their own efforts and becoming self-sufficient. and i think there's some
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elements of your agenda that speak to that, and some that are more really just catching people and helping them when they're down, like under the insurance is part of the safety net. pre-k programs are part of helping people climb the ladder. there's some debate now about pre-k because of course there was this study, the head start program, but said it wasn't having the kinds of effects that we early -- earlier hoped it had. i guess my question to me also that is, when you think about where we have -- i'm talking long-term now, i mean obviously, you are dealing with legislative issues in the here and now as you should, but when you think long-term and sometimes we worry, those of us out here in think tank land, that up there on capitol hill there's quite enough long-term thinking. what do you think we most need to do to improve long-term
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opportunities for people to be self-sufficient? what would be your top priority there? >> i think the most important change we need to make is recognizing the face of today's workforce. because most of our workplace policies are set place in the '50s, '60s, '70s when if you had an american block and/or 10 homes on it, seven or eight have a husband going to work and the wife would be staying at home. today on that same block, five speed i remember that world well spent five of those houses have two parents working, three have a single mom working, and only to have a parent stayin stayinge with the child. so you don't create a workplace that has enough flexibility to accommodate family and the needs of families, you're going to constantly be undervaluing and see underperformance of your workers.
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if you want to tap into the full potential of the workforce, meaning women are typically the primary caregivers for both children and aging parents, you need to create a more family-friendly workplace policy. and that means something as simple as equal pay for equal work to make sure that wage under isn't in shortchanged every work month. you don't have women off wrapping every time there's a family emergency which is constantly happening. so if a woman is never going to get a chance to be promoted to earn more, to put more back in the economy at a degree of 48% of our workforce in new york state is women, that's a problem. you are really shortchanging and economic engine in your workforce by not giving us opportunities to excel and to constantly be earning more and getting ahead. so you need that flexibility. something as simple as universal pre-k and affordable day care, that's five years of the workers life for every child that she has. she's going to be that kind of support or she will not be in
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the workplace full-time or she's not going to be able to offer highest earning potential. those are all engines that are being entirely and kept for about half our workforce. it's a huge problem. >> i think it really has been an enormous transformation, that women have moved into the workforce and as you say, are now 40% of the primary breadwinner's. but, you know, hannah rosen wrote this book recently called the end of men, and she and others have talked a lot about the fact that one of the reasons we have so many single parents is because the men can no longer make enough money to get married and support a family. is that also a concern? you know, in arguing for women's rights to climb the ladder and do better, what do we do about the man? do you have thoughts about that? >> they are still earning a
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dollar on a dollar so they are being paid fairly at work some less concerned about that. but i think we want workplace policies that support all families because there may be men who want to be primary caregivers, or men who need the flexibility when their mother or father is dying. that's why pay them and medical leave applies to women and men. and i think if you have more family-friendly policies that both parents would be able to take advantage and be able to be there when the needs arise, and for all those families who are single family -- single-family company that lets ability these are general policies although they will help more women than men because more often than not as it is the woman who has to sideline her career for families but there are many women, there are many men in the same situation. >> okay. well, let me open this up for the audience to ask a couple of questions here. please state your name and your affiliation, if you would. yes, right here.
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>> my name is adnan roth, i'm with the world organization, early childhood education. i want to point out that robert samuelson column in today's "washington post" quotes doctor sato and doctor haskins about the poverty issue. so i want to caution you not to make a dichotomy between childcare and early education. i don't think you were, but quite often people do. they see one as quite different from the other. all programs for children from six weeks to six years our educational. children are learning all of the time. they don't start when they go to school. and they are both, provide care. >> no, universal pre-k is a
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different go about affordable day care just because there's different mechanisms. but i know my children were in a day care and another shirley -- early child care they received was tremendous. but that day care was $10,000 a year. so the affordability is a huge problem. so there are to many moms who couldn't use the data that's available to federal workers because they couldn't afford it.
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>> some of the proposals are, obviously, consensus proposals like the minimum wage, but the package speaks to a lot of different aspects to what they're talking about. are we going to see sort of more action not just from women members, but party wide on these kinds of things? >> i think so. i think as women and as mothers we have a particular sensitivity often to these issues because we see it every day. i mean, i see what benefit my children get from daycare, what benefit they got from a great pre-k program. i know i couldn't have done my job well without the flexibility i was given for paid family medical leave for both of my children.
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i know the difference it made for me personally, so when i speak to these issues, i speak very passionately about them, and i know what opportunities are being missed for those who don't have them, because i know what it would have been like for me if i didn't have them. so i can speak from the heart and also from real life experience, so that's one of the reasons why i think these issues are coming to the fore now. but i do think the democratic party and the republican party will be able to grab hold of these issues as a new generational issue, as something that speaks to what are the changes we need to make to really create an economic engine and actually make a middle class that can thrive. so i think it can be something that can inspire both democrats and republicans, and i do see amplification from a lot of places. the president gave a very significant speech where he mentioned a couple of things in his speech just a few weeks ago, about a month ago, we had speaker pelosi do a really good press event with a number of members in the house on these issues a few months ago. so i think these issues are going to continue to be talked
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about, and i'm going to do everything i can to make sure i i talk about them a lot so that people begin to say that's a good idea, wail, that could have -- actually, that could have an impact to help the economy grow. >> senator, we really wish you well on this agenda, and please join me in thanking the senator for being with us. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> new york democratic senator kirsten gillibrand delivering the opening keynote address at the brook, institution's -- brookings institution's social mobility summit. paul ryan of wisconsin will give the closing keynote at today's
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summit and we'll have live coverage of his remarks set for 4:30 eastern time. we'll have it on our companion network, c-span3. we're going to immediately take you to another live event looking at the effect of government funding on political campaigns. this is hosted by the new america foundation, we join it in progress. >> the marketplace in most of america might judge her as, you know, not a great candidate. why should i invest in a candidate who doesn't have any experience? i can take my campaign, my donation and give it to somebody who i think is going to win. what we find here with the publicly-funded, with the full funding especially, is we diminish anxiety among candidates, we increase the feelings that they, that they're feeling in control. they're less surprised about the rigors of raising money, and they emerge to take on safe incumbents. so you're seeing challengers coming out of the woodwork and saying things like, yeah, i knew i was going to lose this race, but this program gave me all of
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the resources i needed to run a strong campaign, and i wanted to give my neighbors the conversation. that's what this is all about. so it's completely altered strategic framework. and that's kind of interesting to me. so the quality factory really changes the capacity of citizens to risk to candidates -- transition to candidates. and in a strong way. so i'm happy to talk about that a little bit more in questions. so those are all, i think, fairly normatively good things. but it's not all good news, okay, from the states. i have a chapter in the book in which i talk about what i call partisan costs of participating. and the republican candidates or conservative candidates all use the terms interchangeably, but even if they're not always exactly the same thing, they report more political costs of participation; higher anxiety, more strategic concerns because sometimes if you run as a publicly-funded republican in a
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primary, your opponent will use that against you and say you're taking taxpayer money to run for campaigns. so what you see because of that cost dynamic is a much higher participation rate among democrats. and if you look at how that plays out for incumbents of the legislature in the publicly-funded states, democrats are less likely to be met with publicly-funded challenge and, therefore, with a candidate who's got sufficient resources to mount a good challenge. so there is some concern in my mind that one of the practical results of these programs is to lead to a republican incumbent being a little more threatened than democratic incumbent. another finding that would not be as positive on public funding is i find pervasive gaming over the matching funds system as originally constructed. now, those have since been struck down by the united states supreme court in the free enterprise case, but candidates in the matching fund system the way it was originally worked was
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if i ran as a publicly-funded candidate against a traditionally-funded one, every dollar my opponent spent above the threshold i would get a check. we are locked in financial parity up til $100,000 or so. so what the traditionally-funned candidates did in that circumstance is they would not spend money above the threshold and wait until the weekend before the election. so they'd make a bunch of contracts and wait until the friday before the election and then all of a sudden they're up on tv with ads, mailers, walkers and so it's like a pop-up campaign, right? and so the publicly-funded candidates in that situation would get the check on tuesday or wednesday after the election. and so we found that it was really delaying the spending and pushing back political activity as well. so that's kind of the quick tour of the book, and i would be happy to take questions later and comments, but i would just say in closing that, you know, the lesson here from a policy
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perspective is we tend to approach these things with these conclusions or assumptions about american policy -- politics and democracy, and i really think as we move forward and consider particularly the proposed public funding bill for congress, we ought really think about how the incentives are going to change and how the activities and behavior and strategy and emotions of congressional candidates or any candidate would change. and in turn, how that altered behavior would affect voters as well. so i would turn it back over. or. >> thank you very much, michael. i think we're going to go with michael malbin. >> okay. >> so i want to add my thanks to mark and to the new america foundation for putting on this event. and i want to begin with my most
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important comment, and that's this: this is a good book. it's a very good book. so anyone who's here who bothered to come out this morning to hear this event, you should buy it. it's available outside afterwards, and he'll sign it. so that's my big, my big point. i wanted to say this up front. because most of my comments today are going to sound critical. and that's because i'm going to take what i've learned from the book and try to apply it to different situations. i'm doing this because i think public financing is important as an issue and also because no jurisdiction of the future is likely to pass a ram that's exactly -- a program that's exactly like the ones in arizona, maine and connecticut. it's important to remember, yes, the supreme court did overturn
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arizona's trigger funds, and by implication also maine's and connecticut's. that's the money that michael described that gave extra money to candidates who are facing high-spending opponents or expenditures. but at the same time, the supreme court firmly and clearly upheld the constitutionality of voluntary public financing. now, the keyword there is "voluntary." no legislature -- candidates who sign up for public funding have to do it voluntarily, and no legislature in the future is likely to adopt a program with rigid spending limits that leafs a candidate -- leaves a candidate helpless against millionaire opponents and independent spending. so as a result, advocates now are typically recommending different policies. in new york state and in all of the federal bills under serious consideration, the sponsors have
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moved away from funding with spending limits, and instead they use public financing as a floor, and then they use matching funds to give candidates an incentive to raise money from small donors. so when i read the book, i'm not looking just for a static analysis of one system, i'm looking at the reasoning underneath, i'm looking at lessons for the future. for example, for the reasoning underneath i am, i was extremely impressed by the way michael decided to work his way through the way laws structure incentives for candidates. that's not the way most political scientists have written about the subject in the past. i think it's the right way to go about it. but to explain what i've learned, i'm going to spend most of my time in only one of the book's chapters. i'll be happy in q&a to talk about any of the others including the excellent chapter on voter engagement and
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participation that michael summarized. but for now i want to focus on this issue of how candidates spend their time as a way the get at the question that concerns me. that chapter bins by saying that -- begins by saying most candidates have too much to do, and they don't have enough time to do it. and that's clearly correct. so the question of the book is, so what happens if you can free them up from fund be raising which is an activity most candidates do not enjoy? and to answer this, as michael said, he asked the candidates in a number of states to fill out a time log in early october, and from those logs he found that candidates who accept full public funding spend no time raising money and, therefore, spend a greater percentage of their time making direct contact with voters than did the traditionally-funded candidates in the same states. that's not a surprise. but it's important because most of us would prefer that
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candidates take time to communicate with constituents. then the book went on to compare states with each other, and it found that candidates in full public funding states, as michael said, spend a higher percentage of their time in voter, direct voter contact than candidates in states with no public funding or in partial public funding. and importantly for future policy, he found almost no difference between states with partial public funding and no public funding. and that's where i want to focus focus my attention. because i have serious reservations about the conclusion and about the method. so to explain the reservation, i'm going -- i'm afraid i have to get into some weeds. to make sure he had enough cases to test statistical significance, what michael did, what he decided to do and i understand why, is he decided -- he lumped together all of the full public funding states and the partial states and the, what
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he calls the traditional funded states. he joined them up, and that was the basis for the findings about full versus partial versus none. and to get a little more deeply into the weeds, if you look at the data before they were pooled -- and you already have the book, it's figure 3.1 on page 55 -- michael gives us a bar chart which shows the results of each state individually. when you look at the bars carefully, you see that the results are not quite so neat as the conclusion i just presented. for example, publicly-funded candidates in arizona spend less time on field activities than the ones in maine or connecticut, the two other full public funding states. that's not a problem by itself. but it becomes a problem when you compare arizona to states that do not have clean elections. first, let's compare arizona to
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the three states with partial funding. all three of those states in the sample with partial funding -- wisconsin, minnesota and hawaii -- candidates spent a higher, not a lower, percentage on direct voter contact. than the fully-funded candidates in arizona. now if you quite count everything as campaign activities, the if you don't do fund raising, then you spend 100% of their time on the other stuff. but michael did emphasize direct voter contact. even more surprisingly that fact was also true in six of the nine states with no public money. six of the nine the candidates spent more time on direct vetter contact than -- voter contact than, percentage of time, than in arizona. only three states out of a dozen came in low or than arizona. so my conclusion from all this is that something more is -- because i don't dispute what happens when you group the three
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together, that on average the three public funding states look the way they did. but my conclusion is that something more is going on than the difference between full public funding, partial and traditional. publicly-funded candidates in maine had the highest percentage of voter contact time, but traditionally-funded candidates in maine were second. the variation among states is just, it's far too wide for the book's explanation to be enough or satisfactory. the use of multiple regression analysis really doesn't help us to solve problem, because the data were pooled before the regression. so i took the time to go through these weeds because it's not just a technical issue. it has important policy implications. we have to figure out exactly what's driving these differences if you want to know the real impact of public financing or contribution limits or campaign finance or any other kind of campaign finance regulation. and this is going to be
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especially important for the future, because future public funding will be partial. it turns out that the differences among the states' programs are far more nuanced than the big labels suggest. for example, let's -- if we look at the states with partial public funding, minnesota's quite different from hawaii or wisconsin. in both hawaii and wisconsin, very little public money goes to candidates, spending limits are unrealistically low, and few candidates choose to participate. in minnesota a much higher percentage of the money is public, small contributions are supported by tax credits, and these in turn can be seen as publicly supported money, and a majority of democratic and republican candidates do participate. partly as a result of these policies, minnesota's candidates receive a higher percentage of their money from small donors than any other state this the country. in the country. 57% in 2010 which was the most recent year for which we have
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data. you also see striking results with new york city 6 to 1 small donor matching fund system. in the recent 2013 elections, participating city council candidates got more than 60% of their money from small donors or from the matching funds that small donors generate. in contrast, the median state in 2010 received only 14% of their money from small donors. no other state was close to minnesota or new york. new york city. so why did this happen? maybe it's because the rules in both minnesota and new york drive the candidates to steer their fundraising toward low dollar donors within the candidate's district. as a result, campaigning and fundraising in those places -- not in most places, but in those places -- they're of a piece.
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they're interwoven rather than being separate activities. when the candidate can make a pitch to potential donors about a rebate or matching fund, those are taking place in a local living room or in a meeting hall, not in corporate boardrooms and downtown law firms. in this respect, small donor matching fund programs are different from others. in traditional fundraising, fundraising is separate from campaigning. in clean election states, there is no fundraising. in minnesota and new york city, the two have become intertwined. this is not like other public funding whether partial or full. it has a different dynamic that has to be understood as such. so my big takeaway in these comments is this: we have to understand that the impact of programs vary quite a bit with details. the details are not wholly about public funding, but also about contribution limits and disclosure. michael's book has added to what we know.
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it is a definite contributionment it has shown, for example, that publicly-funded candidates in arizona, connecticut and maine spend more of their time on direct vetter contact than traditionally-funded candidates in the same state. but it doesn't tell us as much as we need to know to differentiate among other states. with respect to public funds, minnesota's and new york's models have been very successful, and they're being looked at by other jurisdictions as models. because of this, we need to look at them more carefully. so in the spirit of a typical researcher, my bottom line is i like michael's book, but there is much more to do. and comparative state research is what is most deeply needed, because it's only by comparing states that you can get at what makes for effective and ineffective programs. >> thank you very much, michael. i'm just going to make one quick comment. what you just said reminded me of something, something that stuck in my head since i heard
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janet napolitano several years ago when she was still governor of arizona speaking about the state system. they put a lot of value in the qualifying contributions, and i remember her saying the thing, the great thing for me is i used to go when she ran for attorney general, she said i used to go to law firm boardrooms to raise money, and then i would go out to, you know, the reservations and other places to look for votes. and now i can go to the same people i'm looking at for votes for money. and that's a good standard to look at. spencer. >> thanks. so i would like to thank mark, thanks so much for the opportunity to come out today. professor miller has written a very important book, i agree with michael about that. now, i'm a law professor, not a political scientist. and, you know, lawyers, including u.s. supreme court justices, we often make
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unfounded assumptions about how politics works, right? but the facts, the facts are important, and that's something that's important about this book. you know, we would assume that public financing requires that candidates spend less time fundraising. we might assume that candidates might be more averse to accepting public money. but this book shows it. there's facts there. many of us have faced the question of whether or not public financing increases turnout. professor miller makes the more penetrating observation that with public financing voters or are more likely to vote in down ballot races, important contributions. i also like to think that professor miller focuses on state reform. too often, especially those of
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us who are in the washington, d.c. area, right? focus too much on federal reforms. cutting edge organizations like public campaign, like demos, like common cause that focus on state reforms in addition to federal reforms. and and that state action is quite important. so now as a good, objective political scientist, professor miller focuses deeply on data, as i said. he acknowledges that the goals of different public financing programs vary. now, because i'm a lawyer, i can't really speak about data or facts, right? so i want to talk about my opinions. i'm going to dress them up and call them values, right? but i'm going to, i'm going to focus on these values here. public financing should no longer aim to --
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[inaudible] all money from politics. that's kind of my value proposition statement. instead, it should encourage as many private citizens from various economic backgrounds to participate in the financing of politics. conventional reformers suggest that, ah, there's too much money in politics. but they're wrong. real problem is that money comes from too few people. while 64% of eligible americans voted in the november 2008 elections, only 10% typically give to political campaigns. and less than one-half of 1% is responsible for the bulk of money that we see in campaigns. so just like we encourage all citizens to vote, key goal of public financing should be to
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encourage all citizens to participate, to make a financial contribution to a political candidate of his or her choice. unfortunately, conventional campaign reform, public financing sometimes suppresses political participation. as barack obama, for example, participated in general public financing. his campaign would not have been able to collect for the general election even a single $5 contribution from a contributor, right? he would not have attracted an unprecedented number, millions of small donors. and perhaps more important, president obama would have likely sacrificed thousands of volunteer organizers who engaged in voter registration, door-to-door canvassing and phone banking. that's because, as michael
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malbin has shown in his work, you know, donating even small amounts creates a bond to a movement, and that leads to other forms of grassroots engagement in terms of volunteering, voting, etc. one of the most promising tools for expanding participation is using public funds to match political contributions. that was mentioned a little bit before, but the idea in a nutshell is that public financing programs should no longer attempt to equalize money between candidates by giving each candidate the same amount or a flat grant. instead, public financing should pa sill tate participation -- facilitate participation by donors by giving a 6 to 1 match on the first $200 of a contribution. so, for example, that makes a $200 contribution by an individual worth $1400 to a candidate.
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now, multiple matching funds, it reflects a philosophical shift about the role of money in politics. as david donnelly has written, reformers need to spend less energy on getting big money out of campaigns and more on getting the people back into those very same campaigns. multiple matching funds has left a poor challenge to political participation, lack of income. income is a barrier to participation. for example, in 2004 individuals with family incomes over $100,000, you know, they represented only 11% of the population, they made up a slightly higher percentage, 15% of those who voted, right? and in terms of the amount of money that they gave, they gave
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well over 70% of the money that was used for campaigns. so average folks are not participating, and we want average folks to participate in campaigns. multiple matching funds make more candidates more willing to engage more americans and expand participation. for example, another study from michael malbin, i've got to -- i'm a law professor, if i didn't mention. i'm not a political scientist like michael, so i've got to use his numbers, right? in new york state, candidates collect only 7% of their money from contributors who give $or 250 or less -- $250 or less. that's for state candidates, right? new york state. there's no match in new york state, in the state. but on the city level, new york city where there is a match, these candidates, as michael has talked about, collect over 60%
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of their money from people who give $250 or less. and that's because candidates target these higher income americans because it's just easier to raise money, right? candidates say why should i call for, why should i call ten people and ask for $100 from each of them when i can make one call and get $1,000, right? and studies show that people who are asked are more likely to give. so we shouldn't be surprised that since higher income people are more likely to be asked by candidates, they're more likely to give. now, let me turn away from the differences in terms of public financing here to critics of public financing, right? some critics argue, hey, private markets alone should finance
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politics. i disagree with that. i disagree because providing the basic framework for citizen participation, that's a proper function of government. so, for example, the state provides a platform for people to participate through voter registration services, through accessible polling places, through ballots, through other tools. multiple matching funds are no different. multiple matching funds, they're not welfare for politicians, as some have labeled conventional public financing. instead, multiple matching funds, they allow more people to use money as a tool to hold public officials accountable. those who insist that we have to rely on private money alone to finance politics, they elevate their mechanical aversion to
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government. and by doing so, they prevent corruption and the appearance of corruption. they can also avoid significant problems with traditional public financing including wasting large subsidies on candidates with little public sport. support. so summing it up, reformers -- and they're already starting to do this -- stop trying to purge money from politics and instead should use money as a tool to facilitate widespread participation this politics. thank you. >> thank you.
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dr. heinz. [inaudible] >> no. yeah, i am, again, here on behalf of myself as a former candidate. thank you to the new america townation, mark schmidt, for the invitation. i am, i am a former candidate and a former legislator from arizona, and so i represent, i guess, a single data point. so, and i will disclose that i have not yet read the book, though i plan to. so i am just giving you a little bit of an example of what it's like to live through this type of a system, and my experiences with that. and i'll compare it a little bit to running for congress which was, in terms of fundraising, just awful. as every candidate will tell you. so i -- out of residency, i moved to tucson, arizona, to attend my internal medicine residency program, excuse me, there. and and throughout my medical
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career became somewhat frustrated with, in general, how we dealt with patients, the inefficiencies in medicine and various other things that prompted me as i was exiting my residency to try to make a change. and not really knowing much at all about politics, we'd had representative jim colby who was in what is now congressional district two in southeast arizona retire, and that caused quite a cascade including state -- then-state senator babs really giffords to stipdown from her -- step down from her post, and freed up a house seat. actually, i literally walked into the democratic party headquarters not knowing a thing and announced, hello, i'm matt heinz, and i'm here to run for congress. and they just looked at me and said who are you? and why are you here? i was in scrubs, i hadn't shaved even more so than now, and it
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was -- that was my first real interaction with this whole system that i didn't understand in any way. now, eventually, i was able to get some guidance from a state senator who's a dear friend of mine who sat down with me and just discussed how this works, and he suggested if you want to do this -- by the way, being a democrat in the state legislature in arizona is not necessarily a very rewarding experience. [laughter] only because of the fact that it's, i don't think it's 2 to 1 now, but for at least two of the years i served there, it was literally more than 2 to 1 majority republican. so he just explained you tend to lose every vote, and, you know, but we do work real hard. but you need to make sure this is going to work with your career, family, and you need some money to do this. i recommend you look at the clean election system. and, of course, i had no idea what that was. and as you've heard described by michael, it worked, it works really, really well.
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you get $5 from -- you want to get about 250 of the contributions to make sure you have enough valid ones, and you do it going door to door. and that is something that was really, for me, very personally rewarding. and i can tell you that it was, basically, all that i did, was, excuse me, was voter contactment i went door to door, and, you know, a newly-minted doctor going door to door asking for $5, a little odd. but i got to teach people about what this program was, what it did, how it empowered them and how it got some of the excess money out of the system, and i got, you know, 250 contributions going door to door. and and then continued that. my volunteers, myself, i think i went to about, over 5,000 homes personally. that's hard to do. and i did that in about seven months. and i literally spoke to over 2,000 people on their doorsteps. and that is the kind of -- and i
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really, that's the most rewarding thing that i think i was able to do during the campaign. and that's how i actually did defeat an incumbent. the way that house elections work, the two top vote getters in the primary are the ones that bo on to the general. in my district, which was majority/minority, democrats typically win. but an incumbent that had been there for, oh, three terms who was very comfortable and did not choose to do much in the way of field work, not much in the way of going door to door who also didn't qualify for his clean elections contributions either was defeated by two clean election candidates, myself included. so it definitely worked, and it certainly, in this case, was able to help a candidate like me with absolutely no connection whatsoever to a network, to politics. as a resident, you're kind of an indentured servant. you are in the hospital, and in this case the va, also a couple
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other hospitals in arizona there, and you tonight really come out to see -- you don't really come out to see the lights very often. it was something that was able to help me get into the system, and i did not win in 2006, actually, i kind of skipped over that. i tried, and i did well, but then i ran again also as a clean candidate in 2008, and i did win. and that was the election i was talking about where i defeated an incumbent. so really i have to say my experience has been a very positive one with the system. i chose to run in 2010 using more traditional funding at that point for a variety of reasons, and -- but it still wasn't a huge focus for me because i was an unchallenged incumbent. but then moving to, moving to 2012 where i briefly was many a democratic congressional primary against my friend ron barber who wasn't initially going to run, by the way, so -- that was a
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very, very different can experience. and one that maybe someday i'll repeat, but i kind of doubt it. and principally because the entire time i was in a windowless room on the phone trying to beat money out of people. and it was the most frustrate frustrateing, i mean, i don't know how i didn't burn through more staff because it was very, very frustrating. and i don't think i knocked on a single door. not one. so i went from over 5,000 personal knocks on doors in 2008 to zero because i was in a room calling and asking for money to run this campaign. and that was, for me, that was really miserable. because what i got from going door to door and talking to people face to face was a real idea about what they were facing in their world. i could see their house, i could see their kids, i could, i could
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assess all sorts of things. a lot of them asked me for medical advice, actually, which i gave with a caveat. [laughter] so, yeah. see your doctor but, yeah, definitely a problem. [laughter] so, you know, that is something i really missed, and that's something that i credit the clean election system in arizona with really allowing me to do. and just to give you a bit of an idea how it works on the ground, because it's been will for so long, every -- been there for so long, every election cycle a very large, recycled book comes out to every voter, and everybody expects it now. whether you're a clean elections candidate or not, you're listed as traditional or clean. you can put in a paragraph about yourself, you get a picture, you can put your web site and a phone number for your campaign, and that book has become kind of a mainstay of campaigning in arizona. people are expecting that, and they get it every, i guess, every two years.
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so it's really within -- and also there's a debate series as well. the clean elections system in arizona has the clean candidates come together and have, do a forum. so that's kind of how the system works there. and i don't want to take too much more of your time, but i do want to, again, thank all of the panelists, and i look forward to -- i believe there's going to be some time for questions. i look forward to answering any specific questions you might have of me. thank you. >> great, thank you. michael, do you want to say anything about, respond to any of the comments, or do you want to just go to -- >> [inaudible] >> okay. usually i have some things i want to say, but i see so many people in the audience that i specifically want to hear what their questions are, so we'll just do that. one quick comment, i think sometimes -- especially when i hear matt talk about that role of the, you know, the going door to door for the $5 contributions, we make a lot of the distinctions between these systems, but sometimes they look a little more like each other than we sometimes think.
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and the importance of the qualifying contributions in arizona has always struck me as a really -- something that people i think didn't necessarily predict but is very important. let's go to the audience. please say who you are, you know, if you have an organizational affiliation, please say what it is. i'm going to go to one person i see who i know is from arizona, jonathan rouse. >> i was going to brag about that. [laughter] born and raised, no kidding, arizona. phoenix, not tucson. a big rationale for these programs is, of course, to reduce the power of special interests and change the behavior of the way people actually vote after they're elected. do you have any evidence on whether these clean money and matching arrangements change the behavior of politicians in office, especially vis-a-vis interest groups? >> yes and in. yes and no. on the question of, you know, is there a quid pro quo exchange for campaign or dollars and
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comparing legislative behavior within arizona or any other of the fully-funded states, i don't know that anyone has done that. but there are two studies, one of which i am co-authoring with death maskett where we find that legislators who are elected using public funding in both arizona and maine appear to be more idealogically extreme relative to their party caucuses. so i've heard anecdotally candidates in arizona say, well, it's much easier now if you eliminate campaign finance marketplace because it used to be to get elected you'd have to be kind of moderate, right? you'd have to go door the door or make the calls, and no one would give you money, you were nuts. but now -- again anecdotally -- what i hear is it's very easy to get. you know, you can go, for instance, just picking a side, if you're more conservative than
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the typical arizona legislator, maybe you can go to your church on sunday and pass your, pass the offering plate around with your $5 qualifying petition in it. and in one day you're qualified, right? there is none of that market vetting going on. so that was kind of theoretical reason for wanting to know that. but the evidence suggests, the very preliminary, unpublished evidence suggests that on both sides in both states that we've looked at clean-funded legislators are to the right and left of their respective caucuses. but that's all i've got. you know, as far as -- [inaudible] >> and i think it's important to distinguish that system from, let's say, a multiple match system, right? so in other words,you've got 250 friends who are either in the sierra club or the nra or whatever, you can get your, you know, contributions together,
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your qualifying contributions together and get a big pot of money. in a lace like new york city or other -- in a place like new york city or other places, however, you can continue to raise. you don't just stop at the 250 close ideological friends. you reach out to a broad group, and you get more money as a result of reaching out to a greater number of people. so again, i'm not a fact guy, right? an empirical guy, but it is more likely that you'd have a broad spectrum of contributors. >> michael, i know you've done work -- >> yeah. i want to respond both to jon and to michael. with respect to policy, it's very hard to do the research in a quantitative way. but we know
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